No One in Recorded History Has Lived Longer Than Jeanne Calment (122 Years Old)
At her death in 1997, Jeanne Calment was the oldest person in history and the only person known to have lived longer than 120 years. Born in Provence, France, in 1875, her long, quiet life was punctuated by extraordinary experiences. She was a teenager when the Eiffel Tower was built and claimed to have met artist Vincent Van Gogh around the same time. She began smoking in her early 20s and continued the daily habit for nearly a century. Calment enjoyed wine and chocolate and attributed her long life to a diet rich in olive oil. She was an avid musician and athlete who played piano and tennis and went mountain climbing and hunting with her husband. The supercentenarian became the oldest actor in history when she appeared in the French film Vincent and Me at 114. Calment was reportedly in good help until her death at a staggering 122 years and 164 days old.